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Finding Harmony in Nashville
‘If citizens will become informed and engaged, and pastors will lead, there are so many positive things that can be accomplished.’
— David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee
by Ashley Horne, Page 12
PLUS THE CHURCH AND THE STATE: A Taxing Issue. Page 22
October 2011 • Vol. 25, No. 8 ISSN 1084-6832 Editor Tom Minnery Managing Editor Catherine Snow Political Editor John Paulton Contributing Editor Karla Dial Contributing Editor Matt Kaufman Copy Editor Scott DeNicola Publishing Editor Kevin Shirin Production Dan Collins Circulation Helen Mills Design Pixel Dance, Inc. Jim Daly President
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Finding Harmony in Nashville
Learn how the Volunteer state overturned Nashville’s harmful anti-discrimination law. Christians are standing strong against persecution — and paying the price.
Counting the Cost
The Church and the State: A Taxing Issue
The tax-exempt status of churches is under attack like no other time in modern history.
The Ring Makes All the Difference
The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage.
Focus on the Family Citizen is published 10 times a year (combined issues in June/July and August/September) by Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization recognized for tax-deductible giving by the federal government, and CitizenLink, a 501(c)(4) organization. Focus on the Family Citizen is a registered trademark of Focus on the Family. Copyright © 2011 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. INTERNET: Referral to websites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content. IMPORTANT NOTICE: By submitting letters, comments or stories, you agree: 1. you are at least 18 years of age; 2. the submission becomes the property of Focus on the Family Citizen magazine and Focus on the Family and will not be returned; and 3. Focus on the Family, its assigns and licensees, are granted the nonexclusive right to use, adapt and/or reproduce the submission in any manner for any purpose. Our agreement is made in Colorado and controlled by Colorado law. CITIzEN SUbSCRIPTIONS: A one-year subscription to Focus on the Family Citizen magazine is available for $24. Write Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80995-7450. To use your credit card, call 800-A-FAMILY. Current subscribers also can call that number to renew. Discounted rates available for group subscriptions of five or more delivered to one location. For group information only, call 800-232-6459, or email email@example.com ADVErtISINg: firstname.lastname@example.org Focus on the Family’s acceptance of advertisements for publication in this magazine does not necessarily imply a complete endorsement of the goods or services advertised. PERMISSIONS: email@example.com or 719-531-3400 CONTACT: 800-A-FAMILY or 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80995 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Find us online at www.CitizenMagazine.com.
Answering the Call
Two Texas teens step forward to share the truth about the Girl Scouts’ agenda.
Planned Parenthood’s Scandalous Policies
An in-depth report chronicles “the breadth and persistence of the organization’s abuses...”
‘If We Don’t Speak The Truth, Who Will?’
Preachers are being called to speak up on the moral issues of the day. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan on the push to redefine marriage.
True Meaning of Marriage
IN EvERY ISSUE
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Whee! The People Letters to the Editor Advisories
EDITOR’S DESK 30 Tom Minnery
Online put it this way: “The Girl Scouts’ leaders hope to make their youthful charges the shock troops of an ongoing feminist revolution.”
Extreme Makeover: Friedan-Style
Answering the Call
(l-r) Tess and Sydney volanski answered the call — to stand up to peer pressure and to stand up for biblical values.
Two historic calls: One launched the girl Scouts; the other stealthily radicalized it. Now, two Texas teens have bravely stepped forward to share the truth about its agenda.
by Bob DeMoss
hen Juliette Gordon Low placed a phone call to her cousin in 1912, little did she know it would turn out to be historic. “Come right over!” she said. “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!” Her vision? To give girls — regardless of skill, background or disability — the chance to grow physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. With that, Low launched the first American Girl Guides troop with 18 girls. In 1913, the group renamed itself the Girl Scouts and released its first handbook, entitled “How Girls Can Help Their Coun4
COvER: COURTESY OF FAMILY ACTION COUNCIL OF TENNESSEE
try.” As the foreword explained, “Honor, duty, loyalty, kindness, comradeship, purity, cheerfulness and thrift are the qualities (the Girl Scouts) seeks to develop.” Today, more than 3.7 million girls belong to the organization — making it “the largest educational organization for girls in the world,” according to its website. But 99 years after its inception, what are Girl Scouts being taught? Are the lessons and values it teaches consistent with the vision of its founder? Far from it. The philosophical changes from the top down are so alarming, columnist and former Girl Scout Jane Chastain asserts, that “the Girl Scouts have become a training ground for the left-wing feminist agenda.” Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review
ABOvE: COURTESY OF CHRISTY vOLANSKI
Shock troops? Feminist revolution? When and how did that seismic shift occur? In 1974, a second historic phone call was placed by Cecily C. Selby, the national executive director of the Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA), to Betty Friedan, the co-founder and first president of the pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW). Shelby asked Friedan to serve on the GSUSA board of directors — a six-year term. Initially surprised, Friedan jumped at the chance to influence millions of young women. In a Nov. 15, 1974, interview with Pennsylvania’s The Daily News, she said: “I was amazed because it is an establishment organization, or thought of that way. “But the more I thought of it, the more interesting it became. The modern women’s movement believes in restructuring institutions. So I see a lot of vitality in the Girl Scouts as an institution.” The paper went on to say: “Ms. Friedan said she is not interested so much in radical chic, as she is in the mainstream of American society. The Girl Scouts of the USA with 2.9 million members — one out of every seven girls, 6 to 17 — is awfully mainstream, according to Ms. Friedan. … Friedan sees her own involvement as a step toward restructuring America’s institutions so that there is equality and mutual acceptance among the sexes.” And restructure it she did. Just one year later, The Daily Herald of Illinois ran an interview with Friedan, in which she said, “The woman’s movement is like no other revolution in this country’s past.
It is irreversible and it has become part of the mainstream in our society. … We must begin in institutions like the Girl Scouts. Both men and women must be liberated to be all they can be. This will be a different kind of society when we’ve finished with this job.” When Friedan and friends pushed for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 1972, conservative women responded, ultimately defeating the legislation. In a March 2, 1977, letter to the editor in the San Antonio Light, Sara Partridge released a mother’s ire about some of the “restructuring” Friedan had accomplished: “Some of my happiest memories as I grew up were of my activities in the Girl Scouts. I was shocked that this wonderful organization would come out in favor of ERA,” she wrote. “It took Betty Friedan and those of her humanist beliefs a little over two years to turn this organization into a political arm of that movement and prevent the original purposes of the Girl Scouts. “I think you are going to see parents, such as myself, not willing to have their daughters used as political pawns.” Friedan’s 12-year tenure on the board clearly sent the once-conservative institution down the wrong moral pathway — at least on a national level. Over the last 30 years, vestiges of hope have remained, as local troop and council leaders maintained their autonomy over which activities and programs are taught.
American Heritage girls: A Christ-Centered Alternative
hristy Volanski is quick to applaud the work of the American Heritage Girls, founded in 1995 by Patti Garibay, a former Girl Scout leader. Like the Volanskis, Garibay became disillusioned with the secular direction of GSUSA and believed it was time to create an alternative built upon a JudeoChristian foundation. According to its website: American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization, dedicated to building women of integrity while offering a wholesome character and leadership development ministry for girls ages 5 to 18. AHG was founded with the love of God … through the love of families … for the love of children. AHG was founded by a group of parents wanting an all-girl program for their daughters. Since its inception in 1995 in West Chester, Ohio, American Heritage Girls has grown from 10 Troops and 100 members to over 300 Troops with more than 13,000 members in 41 states. AHG also serves girls through its Trailblazer program in four additional states, and internationally in Germany, Italy, Japan call, that is — of their own: to withdraw from the Girl Scouts after eight years of participation. Both of these dedicated young women had sold hundreds of boxes of cookies, achieved their Bronze Awards and were working toward their Silver Awards. Their mother, Christy, was a leader in their Troop for three years. They wore their uniforms with honor — proud to be a part of an organization dedicated to developing their moral character.
and The Republic of Georgia. Key AHg Facts: • AHG is a non-profit, Christ-centered, service-rich organization choosing not to receive government or United Way funding. • AHG membership has experienced phenomenal growth at a rate of 20-45 percent per year, impacting tens of thousands of girls in 15 years. • Since its inception, AHG has enacted a laser focus on service, promoting it as one of the key building blocks of young women: “Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.” • AHG members logged more than 108,000 service hours for the 2009-10 program year. • AHG recently entered into a partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, the first such partnership with an all girls’ organization in its 100-year history. l FOR MORE INFORMATION Learn more about American Heritage Girls at AHGOnline.org. Or so they thought. In March 2010, the staunchly pro-life sisters were disheartened to learn about the connections between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. “I felt deceived,” Sydney told Citizen. “The GSUSA leadership is pretending to be something they’re not. While we were a part of a great troop, we could no longer be a part of GSUSA, which holds moral
A Call of their Own
Evidently, the current leadership of GSUSA has lost sight of Low’s original Girl Scout Law #7, namely, “A Girl Scout Keeps Herself Pure (in thought and word and deed.)” For these reasons and other disturbing trends within GSUSA, Texas teens Tess and Sydney Volanski made a historic call — a judgment
viewpoints in direct opposition to our own.” Sydney pointed out that “the Women’s Media Center website was listed as a resource in Girl Scout materials and had 27 active links to pro-abortion websites — including Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL and the abortion Access Project.” Earlier this year, the teens decided to launch SpeakNowGirlScouts. com as a one-stop portal documenting their concerns over GSUSA. The site — which launched them into the conservative limelight — includes a list of women presented in the GSUSA Journey’s curriculum as “Voices For Good” and “Advocacy Role Models” for girls to emulate, women such as Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union and chairwoman of the American Communist Party. As a result of their efforts to raise awareness about this issue, Tess says, “We have been hearing many stories through our website of other girls who have stood up for their moral convictions and have left Girl Scouts.” In a statement on their website, the sisters wrote: “While we recognized the many good things about Girl Scouts, we had to ask ourselves: Will we stand for our beliefs, for the dignity of life, the sanctity of marriage, modesty, purity? Or will we remain true to Girl Scouts? We cannot see any way to truly do both. “This should not be a lesson (learned by) Girl Scouts: that you have unknowingly been promoting and supporting a group that stands for the opposite of the beliefs you hold deeply in your heart. We want to do everything we can to prevent this heartbreak for other girls and their families.” In addition to their website, the girls will share their mission, as part of the “40 Days for Life” speaker series, at their local parish
COURTESY OF CHRISTY vOLANSKI
“While we recognized the many good things about Girl Scouts, we had to ask ourselves: Will we stand for our beliefs, for the dignity of life, the sanctity of marriage, modesty, purity? Or will we remain true to Girl Scouts? We cannot see any way to truly do both.”
Tess and Sydney Volanski
cal empowerment so they can be a positive, character-building influence for all girls.”
Growing in Grace
this fall. “We have been blessed to participate in many media interviews,” they told Citizen, “and are very grateful for the help of the conservative media to share our story with other families.” Sydney is scheduled to film a segment about their experiences later this year on the Eternal Word Television Network. “I’m not asking (GSUSA) to become a right-wing organization because that’s not what they need to be,” Sydney said. “However, they do need to be neutral on matters of sexuality, abortion and politi-
While both girls are very much “politically aware,” their hearts remain Christ-focused. “At 14-years old, I’m not sure of the specifics of what I’d like to do for a living,” Tess said. “I’ve considered a few options, such as journalism or law, but am still unsure of what exactly I want my career to be. I do intend to live out my life doing all that I can to spread Christ to others.” “I will do whatever God calls me to do,” Sydney added. “At this point, I am interested in studying medicine, but I am open to whatever God’s plans are for me.” “Overall, this experience has influenced me a lot,” Tess said. “I feel now I have a better grasp on what the ‘real world’ is like. At times, it’s scary, knowing how many people disregard your beliefs as silly or outdated. But it’s also wonderful to know there are people out there who believe the same as you.” l Bob DeMoss is a freelance reporter residing in Grand Rapids, Mich. FOR MORE INFORMATION Learn more about Tess and Sydney Volanski’s outreach to their peers: SpeakNowGirlScouts.com.
(l-r) Sydney and Tess discuss edits and additions to their popular website.
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